Watch: Emirati poet, whose lyrics have been used for Bollywood songs, speaks Urdu fluently

His love for the language dates back to the 1970s when he went to Pakistan to study; he considers the country his second home

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 29 Nov 2022, 10:26 AM

Last updated: Tue 29 Nov 2022, 3:20 PM

Dr Zubair Farooq, a UAE national, is a well-known name in Indian and Pakistani literary circles for his love for Urdu poetry.

A dermatologist and venereologist by profession, Dr Zubair has authored over 100 books in Urdu and many of his songs written by him were sung by Bollywood and Lollywood singers.

His love for the South Asian language dates back to the 1970s when he went to Pakistan to get his MBBS degree from the Dow Medical College, Karachi.

“I lived and studied in Pakistan for eight years from 1970 to 1977 and learnt Urdu for two years. I did a house job for one year and then I came back to the UAE,” said Dr Zubair, who is married to a Pakistani national.

Later, he went to the UK and USA for higher education.

Recently, on the occasion of the 51st National Day celebrations, Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) honoured distinguished members of the Emirati community from the fields of healthcare, welfare, public service, entrepreneurship and others with awards.

Dr Zubair was also awarded by the Association for his contributions towards Urdu, which is the national language of Pakistan, and also for boosting UAE-Pakistan friendship.


The UAE will celebrate its 51st National Day with zeal and fervour on December 2, 2022.

“Like all Pakistanis consider the UAE as their second, similarly, Pakistan is the second home for me. The people are very friendly and helpful… Till now I have written 102 books. I understand Pakistan’s poetry even better than the Indian Urdu poets,” he says smilingly.

India and Pakistan have been major trading partners of the UAE for many decades and the main source of manpower as well for the Emirates following the discovery of oil in the 1970s. Hence, the UAE nationals have been interacting and communicating with the Hindi and Urdu-speaking people for decades.

“As we all know, people from the UAE have had some knowledge of Urdu and Hindi. Even today when we go to souks, people say ‘rupiah and paisa’. My family also understands Urdu but they can’t speak as fluently as I do.”

Interestingly, many well-known singers from Bollywood and Lollywood, such as Javed Ali, Sadhana Sargam, Ghulam Abbas and Mohammed Ali Shehki, have sung songs written by the first Emirati Urdu poet.

“I started writing poetry in 1984 and since then both Bollywood and Lollywood singers have sung songs written by me."

“I have also done ghazal choreography and it has come in the dance form as well. We have had two programmes so far in 1991 and 2016,” he concluded.

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